The biggest issue is dealing with corruption in Albany after a string of convictions of legislative leaders, Gaughran said, including getting rid of the LLC loophole, which allows almost unlimited contributions by individuals and corporations by creating multiple entities. He also wants legislators who are convicted of a crime related to their office to lose their state pensions. Budget deliberations are also on his list, saying that Long Island only gets back $2 for every $3 sent to Albany, and that Long Island needs more of its fair share of revenue, especially for schools. Mandates imposed by the state Education Department should be funded by the state, taking that burden off school districts. Education reform is important as well. He said he wants to get rid of the section of the law that mandates that an educator’s assessment scores are based on 50 percent of students’ “high stakes” testing. “We need to start respecting public teachers instead of demonizing them.”
Gaughran, 59, is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality lines. The Northport resident is a former Huntington Town councilman and former Suffolk County legislator. He is currently chairman of the Suffolk County Water Authority and an attorney in private practice. He received his bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University and his law degree from Hofstra University. He and his wife have two children.